Homeschool vs Public School Statistics Infographic

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I realize that not all WriteAtHome students, and certainly not all of our regular blog visitors, are homeschoolers, but the great majority of WriteAtHome families choose to educate at home. I thought, therefore, that you would appreciate this new infographic from the folks at College@Home.

The two parts I found most interesting are–

  1. the statistics that show neither household income nor the amount spent on homeschooling has any significant effect on student success, and
  2. the “socialization” score that places homeschoolers much higher than public schoolers. I’m curious about how they measure that, by the way.

It’s not that I’m surprised that homeschoolers are better “socialized,” since I can’t think of an institution that, generally speaking, does a poorer job of socializing than public high schools (at least from my experience).

I’d love to hear what you think about this!

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Homeschool Domination
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About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Cozetta Carpenter
    Cozetta Carpenter08-30-2014

    I am grateful to find these statistics, as a home school mom, who has been teaching for 10years, with a possible 17 to go. I have just received an absurd amount of criticism because I have no College Education,, I have health obstacles, & one who didn’t graduate. I have 4 who have graduated, with 2 in college, (& both on the Dean’s list), 1 in the workforce, and one works seasonally while doing mission work during the rest of the year. Those are my success stories. One child however did not graduate after going to Public School the last 2 years of high school . He was made to start as a 9th grader instead of 11th grader and work online to catch up with his credits. He was catching up everywhere except Math was coming slow, as he had always struggled with Math. and with a teacher who openly criticized him, he lost heart and quit school altogether. He is now working on a GED. Because of this painful situation, my homeschooling has been called a failure. I know my son will make it in life whether he gets a GED, or continues to work as a Construction Worker. This is why these statistics are such an encouragement to me. Thankyou!!

  2. Amanda
    Amanda10-07-2013

    Thanks for the info! I first saw it on Pinterest. I’ve been reseaching and considering homeschooling my 2 adhd elementary age boys, but definately want them to go to College. I’ve always said, they can have a career at McDonalds when they grow up if they want to, as long as they have been to college and gained that higher education experience. I think the thing that scares me most is the testing of their performance and how colleges look at homeschoolers “grades and test grades”. It seems so complex and serious in public school to “Do well on the STARR test or You HAVE to get above a certain percentile on the TAKS test.” It’s so detrimental to the success of public school students, and I just dont see that same type of emphasis and rigor placed on home schooling. Is that because it’s really not that huge of a deal and public school just makes it that way, or is it becuase Home schoolers just aren’t pushed to reach their maximum potential? Do you know what I mean? It seems as though home school testing is easily and nonchalant vs. public schoool testing being scary and serious.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko10-11-2013

      Hm. I’m not sure I see the connection between the current focus on testing and pushing students “to reach their maximum potential.”

      Homeschoolers are quite varied, Amanda. I know of some whose approach is laid back and casual and others who are very disciplined and highly motivated. It all depends on the goals and personality of the family.

      If you choose to homeschool, you can decide how hard to push your kids and how much to emphasize testing.

      Laws differ from state to state–you’ll have to check with your own–but in most states homeschoolers are not obligated to take the same tests as public school kids. Here in Virginia, we are required to submit some kind of national standardized test each year, but we are not required to take the test required for graduation in public schools (It’s called the SOL here–Standards of Learning).

      Colleges don’t tend to pay much attention to GPA with homeschoolers, and obviously class rank doesn’t matter. That means SAT/ACT scores tend to be more important with homeschoolers. They also like to see some classes taken outside the home for comparison purposes–online courses, community college courses, etc.

      I hope that’s helpful. Let me know if you have further questions.

  3. Bridget
    Bridget06-15-2013

    One thing I find really frustrating about those who homeschool is their constant need to prove that public school is so wrong. I have nothing against homeschooling but every time I try to research it, I find it irritating how negative the homeschooling community tends to be towards public schoolers. The data here is clearly skewed, it’s from ‘College@Home’. For the record, public school doesn’t always turn out losers. I went to public school k-12, just graduated college Cum Laude with a degree in Biology and Biomedical Science and am now going on to get my doctorate on a scholarship.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko06-18-2013

      I think you are reading this all wrong, Bridget. Perhaps you don’t realize the kind of criticism and opposition many homeschoolers face. They are often put on the defensive with family and friends who question their decision. Statistics like you see in this graphic are simply to demonstrate that homeschooling is an academically viable alternative. The intent is not to criticize public schools. Teacher organizations like the NEA are also known for their outspoken objection to homeschooling. This kind of data helps homeschoolers defend their right to forgo the public education system.

      The fact that College@Home produced this infographic does not prove the data to be “clearly skewed.” They provide references for all the information. I’m happy to correct any numbers you can show me to be inaccurate, but simply claiming that the data is “skewed” because the provider of the data has something to do with homeschooling is a kind of logical fallacy C.S. Lewis dubbed “Bulverism.” You should look it up.

      Where on earth did you get the idea that anyone believes that public schools “always turn out losers?” That’s an absurd idea that no one is suggesting — which makes your final point an obvious straw man argument. Perhaps before you finish your Ph.D., you could do a short study of logic.

      • Brenda
        Brenda10-11-2013

        Your arrogant reply seems to prove the point here.

        • Brian Wasko
          Brian Wasko10-11-2013

          You lost me, Brenda. Whose “arrogant” reply are you referring to, and what point is it making?

    • Melissa
      Melissa08-25-2013

      Bridget, one of the main reasons I am homeschooling is because I’ve worked in public schools for a couple of years now, and they are a NIGHTMARE, so if someone is being negative about them, they’re not exaggerating. And while I know there are many good people in education who are trying to make a difference in kids’ lives, there really are reasons to be found for homeschooling in almost every aspect of public education.

  4. George
    George05-24-2013

    I don’t know if I agree with these statistics or not. I’ve met several home schooled kids, and they seem to fail at spelling the simplest words. Like the word “foley”, the girl spelled it “folly”. Or using the words their, they’re, or there. I don’t know, I just think the parents need to be educated to educate the kids. Just my opinion.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko05-24-2013

      Sorry, George. You can question the validity of the data, or you can disagree with a conclusion drawn from statistics, but you don’t get to agree or disagree with statistics.

      What you are saying here is that you prefer to form your opinion on homeschooling based on a few personal anecdotes rather than on statistical data on hundreds, perhaps thousands of homeschoolers. That’s hardly an objective or wise way to arrive at conclusions.

      Are you really suggesting that students should know how to spell “foley”? That’s hardly a simple or common word. Perhaps you meant to say they misspelled the word “folly.” No problem. Errors like that are common. Just like misspellings.

      Your comment about homeschooling parents needing to be educated is a non sequitur.

  5. Phylicia
    Phylicia04-18-2013

    I am a home school grad and this infographic was great, but can I ask where the data was pulled from? Is it from an official site like Department of Ed or an official census? THanks!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko04-18-2013

      The folks who made thie graphic cited their sources at the bottom of the graphic, Phylicia.

  6. Audrey
    Audrey03-04-2013

    Omygosh, thank you so much! A friend of my directed me to this, and it’s awesome! I’m trying to continue homeschooling throughout high school, and this will definitely help my case! :D

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko03-04-2013

      Glad to help, Audrey. Btw, my oldest daughter whom we homeschooled all the way through is going to college on an almost full academic scholarship. Homeschooling can be a very effective way to learn.

  7. Jen
    Jen01-15-2013

    Those statistics I tell ya! I love the chart! It’s amazing how many stereotypes are out there for homeschoolers! Is it because it isn’t the “norm” that so many negative comments are made… This will put some homeschoolers at ease reading your article! I was never homeschooled, but homeschool my children. I have dealt with comments from those who oppose it. Sometimes you wish you had this chart with you at those moments! My children are far advanced in many areas compared to friends and family who are the same age. And they spend far less time doing “school” and more time enjoying their time and still excel.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko01-16-2013

      Glad the graphic encouraged you Jen! We homeschool our four girls too.

  8. Wendy
    Wendy03-21-2012

    But this info graphic falls way short in that it doesn’t compare like with like. For instance, we’re told that “only 13% of American high school students are proficient in US history” – but we aren’t told what percentage of homeschoolers are proficient. In fact the only places I see a direct comparison is regarding percentile test scores, GPA, graduation rates, and the final “socialization” statistics.

    Hey, I’m all for homeschooling and homeschoolers, that’s why I’ve invested the last 15 years of my life doing it, but I don’t find this infographic very informative.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko03-21-2012

      Good point, Wendy. The data in the top third of the graphic isn’t comparative. It’s just some random data–some kind of interesting, some not so much. But the bottom 2/3 is mostly comparison. I found it pretty informative. The U.S. History stat seemed a little random to me too though.

  9. Wendy Wartes
    Wendy Wartes03-21-2012

    I homeschooled three to college and all graduated and are working in their major field. I was on the board of a state homeschool org. for 10 years, and I helped get our homeschool law, testifying in the legislature. That said, since many homeschoolers administer standardized tests in non-standard ways, like at the kitchen table and the fact that there are no test norms for individuals being administered these group tests, the scores are not valid that result. Any child testing in the comfort of his/her own home will do better than in a group setting. There is no way a mom testing her child won’t stop the test if there are tears when the child doesn’t recognize what guide words are on the third grade test. Other than that I think the other statistics ring true.

    • Danielle
      Danielle04-04-2012

      Thank you Wendy for adding clarity around the standardized tests. As a science major I was skeptical of the data immediately because the vast amount of differing variables throw the data off. I also think a major factor is overlooked in this info graphic and that is the level of parent involvement. I am sure you will see across the board, grades and scores go up incrementally with parent involvement regardless of homeschool vs. public school. I’m all for either way as long as parents are taking an active role in their children’s education.

  10. Lois
    Lois03-21-2012

    Since I’m a visual learner, I appreciated the graphs on all these statistics. I didn’t learn anything new, but for the socialization test, I think I read what standard they used at the college level. One of them I remember was “participation in class discussion.” Another I think was their circle of friends was broader, and they participated more in extra-curricular events and volunteering.

    I never liked the “us vs. them” mentality, however, these facts are excellent to use for the nay-sayers who are critical of homeschooling. I’ve been told that since I was a teacher, that I’m “qualified” to teach my kids. I just smile slyly, because they don’t have to know that my teaching degree was in music! I’m just as lost as my kids with upper level math and chemistry.

    Success is more than test scores and graduation rates too, something this study didn’t show.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko03-21-2012

      Thanks for the info on the socialization question, Lois. I don’t like the us vs. them thing either, but as a homeschooling dad, I often get asked about the effectiveness of home education and it’s comforting to know that generally homeschoolers compare well to public school kids.

      I completely agree with your point about success. In fact, it’s not something that can be measured on graphs at all, really. :)

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